February 2, 2008
A fascinating, and disturbing, piece of history
The German-American Bund was the semi-official US branch of the Nazi party and operated from 1935-1941. While only garnering a few thousand members they attracted a lot of media attention and created some disturbances in Yorktown, Manhattan.
This is a transcript of speeches from their most famous rally at Madison Square garden on Feb. 20, 1939. Remember that is a few months after Munich and Kristalnacht, and a few weeks before the march into Czechoslovakia.
The program enunciated here, under the slogan of "Free America" is an application to American circumstances of Nazi policies, including praising of the KKK, Asiatic exclusion, and, most importantly in this context, immigration quotas. They promise, if put into power, to make sure that all positions of authority are occupied by White Gentiles, end "abuses of freedom of the press and speech" stricter race laws and the prohibition of subversive organizations. At the end of one speech an official ends his diatribe with a call for a "Jew free" America. They remind the audience, again and again, that they are not against the constitution, or American ideals.
This is a valuable window into a weird and almost forgotten chapter of history that will open your eyes, while cringing your stomachs.